Ziyang Xie- From Breathing to Profound Social Exploration
Photo Courtesy: Ziyang Xie

Ziyang Xie: From “Breathing” to Profound Social Exploration

By: Max Blue

In 2024, the Canadian International Abstract Art Online Competition caused a stir in the art world. Hosted by TERAVARNA, this competition attracted artists from around the globe who showcased their unique interpretations of the theme “abstract” through various media. The competition not only offered substantial prizes but also provided significant exposure for the artists. The judging criteria encompassed creativity, thematic interpretation, and technical skill. In this highly competitive and demanding contest, contemporary artist Ziyang Xie was awarded a certificate for his work “Breathing,” a high recognition of his artistic talent.

Ziyang Xie’s “Breathing” series represents a profound artistic endeavor that explores life, culture, and environment through printmaking and sculpture. His works not only display respect and innovation for traditional crafts but also express deep reflections and critiques of social realities.

Ziyang Xie

Photo Courtesy: Ziyang Xie

In the “Breathing” series, Ziyang Xie uses animals as the subject to explore the drastic changes in the natural environment and their impact on animal life. This choice reflects his critique of humanity’s continuous erosion and neglect of the natural world in social processes. The works, by depicting animals’ helplessness and cries, indirectly expose certain deficiencies in social civilization, particularly the loss of human spirit and the chaos caused by blind materialistic pursuits. In his print works, he utilizes “intaglio” techniques to break from traditional sculpting methods, allowing the “objects” in his works to not only create a tactile impression of print language but also maintain a proportional relationship with “real images” in the world, overturning traditional realistic painting concepts. This choice of technique reflects his deep understanding and utilization of the material properties of objects. By presenting animal images in negative form, he not only innovates technically but also subverts traditional realistic painting. This method enhances the objective imprint of the works, enabling viewers to feel the vitality and urgency behind the artworks.

Such practices not only demonstrate Ziyang Xie’s deep understanding and innovation in print art but also express his profound insights into life, society, and culture. The “Breathing” series is a landmark achievement in his artistic journey, showcasing how he explores and expresses the multiple dimensions of life through art. In this series, he employs the ancient technique of printmaking, integrating it into the context of modern art. Ziyang Xie does not merely use traditional printmaking tools but creatively combines them with modern materials, making the works not only a visual enjoyment but also a direct expression of thoughts and emotions. Through printmaking, he explores and expresses the intrinsic connection between personal experience and language, attempting to convey broader social and cultural issues through these isolated “imprints.”

In the second part of the “Breathing” series, Ziyang Xie employs sculpture techniques, focusing on geese to deeply explore and display the robust vitality and indomitable spirit of this animal symbol in adversity. This series is not only an ode to the resilient life in nature but also a reflection of the human spirit when facing challenges. Through woodcut techniques, Ziyang Xie captures the dynamic beauty of geese in flight, with each incision deeply reflecting the vitality and tenacity of life. This technical choice not only provides a strong visual impact but also, more profoundly, expresses a life philosophy through these vivid sculptures – even against the wind, continuing to fly and display the power of life.

Ziyang Xie

Photo Courtesy: Ziyang Xie

Furthermore, Ziyang Xie’s woodcut works are described as “oxygen bars in the dark,” a poetic depiction that evokes a sense of life and hope in viewers’ hearts. Each piece is like an exploration of light in darkness, reflecting the artist’s use of sharp contrasts between black and white and refined carving techniques to create a unique visual and emotional experience. This is not only an artistic expression technique but also a profound way of emotional communication, allowing viewers to experience touch and insight into the soul during viewing.

In Ziyang Xie’s works, black and white are not just contrasts of colors; they represent the weight and lightness of life, the confrontation between darkness and light. The artist treasures every ray of light found in darkness, and this visual contrast and emotional tension provide viewers with a profound, soulful experience. Ziyang Xie’s works are not only visually enjoyable but also enlightening to the soul, letting people feel the presence of hope in darkness.

Ziyang Xie’s art not only showcases individual creative talent but also reflects deeper societal aspects. Through the in-depth use of printmaking and sculpture techniques, Ziyang Xie has created an art world that allows materials to speak for themselves. His “Breathing” series is not just a display of visual arts but a profound dialogue on living conditions, cultural values, and environmental crises. These works transcend aesthetic boundaries, touching the inner depths of viewers and stimulating thoughts and perceptions about modern societal issues.

In Ziyang Xie’s creations, each artwork is an independent narrative, telling the story of the fusion of materials and spirituality. Through the innovation of traditional art forms and the exploration of material potential, he makes art a carrier of ideas, reflecting not only personal artistic pursuits but also societal resonances. Ziyang Xie’s practice proves that art is a means to understand the world, a bridge connecting the past and future, the individual and the collective, and the material and spiritual.

Published by: Nelly Chavez

Share this article


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of Artist Weekly.